Fillings in Chico, CA

Amalgam vs. Composite Fillings

Amalgam vs. Composite Fillings

Traditionally, dental fillings are composed of one of three things: gold, porcelain, or amalgam. Because they need to be able to hold up against the extreme forces involved in chewing, fillings are made of these strong and durable materials.

Now, though, dental fillings use ceramic and plastic compounds to ensure they look like natural teeth. Called composite resins, these materials are used increasingly in front teeth to maintain a natural-looking smile because they are naturally tooth-colored. They can also be used on back teeth depending on the amount of decay present. One drawback to composite resins is that these fillings typically cost more than the silver amalgam fillings of the past.

What's Right for Me?

When deciding which filling material is right for you, consider these factors that can influence the performance, durability, longevity, and expense:

  • Components used

  • Amount of remaining tooth structure

  • Where the decay is located

  • Chewing forces exerted on that tooth

  • Number and length of dental visits to prepare and adjust the restoration

The best way to determine which filling material is right for you is to consult with your dentist. Our team will perform an examination and talk over your options with you. Feel free to ask us any questions you have regarding fillings. We want you to feel comfortable in your decision.

  • Direct fillings are placed in a single visit. We prepare the tooth by removing the decay, and then place the filling. These fillings include dental amalgam, glass and resin ionomers, and composite fillings.

  • Indirect fillings typically require two or more visits for preparation and placement. These fillings include inlays and inlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges; materials include gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, and composites. At your first visit, our team will prepare your tooth and make an impression. We also place a temporary covering to protect the tooth while the restoration is created. After your restoration arrives from the dental lab, we bond the restoration to your tooth and adjust it as needed.